One of the earliest ends of the Missionaries in 1818 had been to work for the reform of priests, especially after the ravages of the Revolution. Sixteen years later we find that this is still the case and that our communities were open to receiving priests.
It will be important for you to come to an understanding with Father Vincens on how to conduct retreats for the ecclesiastics and priests who will be coming for this purpose to your house.
The model lifestyle of the Oblate community ,and the witness they gave, was seen by some of the local priests as a silent condemnation of their own bad lifestyles.
It grieves me, but comes as no surprise, to learn that some of the neighbouring priests have changed their attitude towards you. My advice is to seem not to have noticed and to keep up the courtesies, at the same time changing nothing of what is upsetting them, in other words be ever more regular, ever more aloof from dissipation, from the style of life they have adopted; in the long run, you will win the support even of those who see in your way of life a silent condemnation of their own.
Recalling that Fr Guigues was only 29, and the youthfulness of his two companions, Eugene advised:
Remember that you have to compensate for your youthfulness, and I will venture to say your childlike appearance, with a special exterior gravity, which is not inconsistent with courtesy.
Letter to Bruno Guigues, 6 October 1834, EO VIII n 488